Florida basketball score, takeaways: Gators rout Boston College in get-right game for offense

By Jake Winderman
December 4, 2020
Florida basketball score, takeaways: Gators rout Boston College in get-right game for offense

Image Credit: @GatorsMBK / Twitter

Florida Gators basketball made its first big statement of the 2020-21 season Thursday with a 90-70 win over the Boston College Eagles in Bubbleville at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. The Gators hit the Eagles in the mouth right out of the gate, jumping out to a 20-point lead with 4:30 remaining in the first half and never relenting.

Head coach Mike White wound up giving minutes to all 12 active players on the roster as Florida put up its highest point total against an ACC opponent since 1999.

What went down on Thursday as the Gators wrapped up in Bubbleville? Keep on reading for our Fastbreak takeaways from the game.

It was over when … Florida opened up a 22-point lead, its largest of the first half, on a jumper from junior guard Noah Locke (12 points, 3 rebounds). The Gators were simply too dominant in the opening 20 minutes for Boston College to muster any kind of comeback in the second half. After Florida again took a 20-point early in the second half, BC was unable to cut the deficit inside that number until there was 2:41 remaining in the game.

Five players combined for 77 of the Gators’ 90 points as the team hit 56.5% from the field and 41.2% from beyond the arc. Florida’s defense rounded out the a complete performance, forcing 17 turnovers and allowing just four second-chance points.

First half focus: Florida shook off the rust from its season-opener and put on an offensive clinic. The Gators offense looked more fluid in the first 20 minutes against the Eagles than it did at any point against Army. UF racked up 10 dimes, tying its assist total from Wednesday in the first 20 minutes, while the defense secured 10 turnovers.

Exceptional efforts: Junior forward Keyontae Johnson was the Gators’ most impressive player, finishing with 24 points, 12 rebounds and a steal. He was 6 of 10 from the floor and knocked down 2 of 3 triples, though he did have four turnovers in 27 minutes. Johnson’s offense never looked forced, and he was able to create space for the shots he wanted all night long.

Sophomore point guard Tre Mann has made the biggest strides of any returning player to start the season. Mann posted 17 points and six assists, shooting 6 of 9 from the field and 2 of 3 from deep. His improved ball handling sent opposing guards into a dizzy as he danced his way to easy buckets and playmaking opportunities for his teammates.

The best two-way performance came from sophomore G Scottie Lewis, who scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half and finished +29 on the evening, the best +/- on the team. Lewis was the only player with 2+ steals and blocks, and he played with tenacity all night on the defensive end.

Odds and ends: UF improved to 3-0 all-time vs. Boston College, picking up its first victory against BC since the Elite Eight of the 1994 NCAA Tournament … Florida under White is now 17-1 when scoring 90+ points and 49-3 when scoring 80+ points … the Gators had five players score in double figures for the first time since Jan. 4 … Mann has scored 36 points through Florida’s first two games. He didn’t score his 36th point until Game 7 of the 2019-20 season … sophomore F/C Omar Payne posted 10 points on 5 of 6 shooting with a block and a steal in 17 minutes … Johnson has six double-doubles in 11 games dating back to last season … sophomore center Jason Jitoboh and freshman G Niels Lane made their 2020-21 season debuts

What it means: It’s only the second game of the season, but Florida put together a dominant performance on both sides of the ball against Boston College. The Eagles represented a way more talented foe to the Gators than Army, but they are not a marquee opponent to judge the rest of the season against. The victory will more than likely end up as a Quadrant II win and a good building block headed into a matchup with No. 22 Florida State next Saturday. Florida should hold its heads high after controlling the entire game vs. a solid Boston College squad, but there’s more difficult opponents on the horizon.

What’s next? The Gators will head back to Gainesville, Florida, for their home-opener vs. Stetson on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. The Hatters are 0-1 after losing to Division II Emmanuel College to open up their season. Stetson faces Miami (FL) on Friday before driving back up through the state to challenge Florida on Sunday.

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